When Jobfind launched a Youth Employment Consortium (YEC) in 2021, the aim was to collaborate with other youth employment specialists to create more career pathways and job outcomes for our young job seekers.
Raf Matta, Jobfind’s youth engagement specialist, mentors young job seekers and introduces them to a network of providers and opportunities they never knew existed.
Youth Careers Day
Raf regularly hosts Youth Careers Day in Jobfind offices so that young job seekers can have a one-on-one appointment with him to explore employment and training opportunities aligned to their interests.
“Young people want more than just a job – they are looking for work that interests them, stability, and a career they can grow into,” explains Raf.
Using his network of providers and employer connections, Raf can quickly align job seekers with suitable opportunities and pathways.
Earn and learn with apprenticeships and traineeships
To help young job seekers broaden their job search, Raf presents apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities with YEC partners Squad and Mas Experience in a variety of industries, including Tourism and Hospitality, Building and Construction, and Customer Service.
“A lot of young people don’t know they can be getting a qualification and earning money at the same time,” says Raf.
“We talk about in-demand jobs where there is a lot of opportunity to grow a rewarding career.”
Trade apprenticeships can take between 3-4 years and traineeships for non-trade professions such as administration and retail are usually between 1-2 years full time.
“Being on the job, getting real-life work skills and a certified qualification is a smart career move for a young person who wants to earn and learn,” says Raf.
A scaffold of support
To help young job seekers decide if an apprenticeship is right for them, Squad and Mas Experience organise a 5-day trial with potential host employers.
“A short trial can help a young person address their hesitations and see if it’s a good fit for them,” says Raf.
Once on the job, both Jobfind and the apprenticeship provider offer regular and ongoing support. Raf often travels to work sites to touch base with his young participants and their employers to offer any extra support to succeed.
“For early school leavers, this could be the first time they are working and studying, so the wraparound support to help them succeed is really important,” explains Raf.
Tanya finally finds stable employment
Tanya*, 19, joined Jobfind in July 2022, just as the new Workforce Australia service commenced. She had previously participated with another employment services provider but had not been able to secure work.
For the next two months, Tanya was occupied with finishing her final placement as part of her childcare studies. Her employment consultant, Helen Andaras, maintained regular phone contact to engage Tanya with her next steps into employment.
“Tanya wanted to work close to home due to the costs of public transport. But her limited work experience was becoming a barrier to progressing to the interview stage,” says Helen.
To assist her job search, Helen introduced Tanya to Raf for extra support to engage with local employers.
“I met Tanya and was on the phone that day to recommend her to a local childcare employer…she got an interview the next day,” says Raf.
Well-prepared for her interview, Tanya impressed the recruiter and she was offered the job with an immediate start.
“Tanya has just completed her first month of full-time work ever, in a job she loves, that’s close to home. She’s doing well,” beams Helen.
The future is already looking brighter for Tanya. “We’re offering support to get her driver’s licence so she has more options for future employment and she’s thinking about upgrading her qualification to a Diploma,” says Helen.
*name changed for privacy
About Workforce Australia
Workforce Australia is the employment service delivered by the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations. Jobfind is contracted to deliver Workforce Australia to individuals requiring personalised and tailored support to find and keep a job, change jobs or create their own job.
Workforce Australia also connects job seekers and employers. All businesses are eligible for free support from Workforce Australia providers to find and hire suitable individuals to grow their business.
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